Categories > Celebrities > My Chemical Romance > Before They Were Fabulous

Dangerous Days

by Sassy 2 reviews

Meet our first two Killjoys-to-be, Ray and Frankie

Category: My Chemical Romance - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Characters: Frank Iero,Gerard Way,Mikey Way,Ray Toro - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2020-10-28 - Updated: 2020-11-04 - 2280 words

The Helium Wars had been relatively short, lasting only eighteen months, but the effect had been devastating. In wars, countries crumble, in this war entire continents had been lost. The vast majority of the USA had been reduced to a desolate and dangerous wasteland with few cities surviving. Out of the ashes of a once proud nation had risen Better Living Industries. Like a phoenix it emerged somehow fully formed and the huge corporation seemed ready to assume control immediately. The more cynical survivors couldn’t help but wonder if the war had been coincidental or more terrifyingly, if it had been manufactured to offer a platform for the insidious company. It certainly wasn’t the only post-war organisation to appear; amongst others, Dead Pegasus emerged with a stranglehold monopoly on fuel supplies, but there was something quasi-governmental about BLI or more accurately dictatorial.

You either agreed with BLI or you disappeared, but of course, nobody noticed. The sheer agony and misery of the war had been countered by BLI’s brand new medications that promised an easier living experience, achieved by dulling the senses and reducing people to emotionless, smiling drones who gratefully accepted whatever they were told or received. Through their cheerful cartoon character, Mousekat that bore a more than passing resemblance to the early incarnations of Mickey Mouse, BLI’s advertising campaigns promised that life was good and people were happy and content under BLI’s rule - provided you took their medication, of course. If you didn’t, naturally you disappeared. The aftermath, as all the propaganda explained, was indeed secondary.

One of BLI’s chief locations was the newly constructed Battery City in California. Densely populated with controlled weather under its protective dome, the majority of the heavily medicated populace worked, played and lived in blissful ignorance. Few refused to accept BLI’s all-pervasive presence, but some of those who did managed to escape Battery City’s heavily guarded walls to start new lives. They would live free of the medication, but in devastating poverty out in the Zones. The further out the townships were, the more dangerous. Not just from the criminal elements running from BLI, but also from the radioactivity following the wars that increased the further from Battery City you travelled. An additional hazard were the acid rain storms that tended to ravage the outer zones could be lethal.

The first people to rail against BLI were the veterans of the Helium Wars. They had fought hard in perilous conditions, frequently driven mad or losing the use of limbs if not their lives from the deployment of nerve agents and electromagnetic mines. They had fought for freedom against tyranny, only to find that tyranny had the upper hand all along.

Now, many of those veterans had established camps far outside the suffocating walls of Battery City. In their minds, the war had not ended; just the enemy had changed.


The jeep raced along Route Guano, kicking up a heavy cloud of dust and sand as it hurtled along. Behind it, somewhat obscured by the cloud, was Battery City and probably very soon the ‘Crows would be following. The jeep’s occupants were keen to return to Zone 4 and deeply uncomfortable with how close they still were to the enemy.

“Any sign, Flex?” The driver barked over his shoulder, the roar of the engine almost drowning out his words.

A short pause followed as another of the jeep’s occupants peered into the distance through a set of protective visors. With the dust and sand cloud finally clearing as the jeep reached a steady speed, the man was able to see relatively clearly back to Battery City and sighed with relief as he noticed that they had managed to get away without being followed.

“All clear, Leech,” the gruff voice returned. “Not a ‘Crow in sight, but I’ll keep looking, just in case.”
“And I’ll keep an eye on the desert, in case they’re already out on patrol,” a third man added.

The driver punched the air, letting out a loud cry of joyous celebration.

“We did it!” He cried. “We actually did it!”
“Was there ever any doubt?” The second man chuckled, looking back towards the driver. “We planned this raid to the ‘n’th degree.”
“Yeah, well, something... anything could have gone wrong,” the third added.
“Doesn’t hurt to be cautious though, does it?,” the driver grinned in the rear view mirror, seeing Battery City disappearing into the distance. “But it looks like we got away with it.”
“Wait! What’s that?” The third shouted urgently.
“What?” The man driving asked, checking all the mirrors for signs of the enemy, his voice tense and concerned.
“What d’ya see, Death?”
“Pull over,” the man demanded.
“Pull over?” Leech gasped. “Are you crazy?”
“It’s not a ‘Crow,” he insisted. “Pull over.”
“You better be right about this, Death,” Leech grumbled as slowed the jeep and brought it to a halt at the side of the road.
"What are we looking at?” Asked Flex, scanning the desert for whatever Death had seen. “Oh, that!”

Pointing to a shape of what looked like a child sprawled face down in the sand, Flex jumped down from the jeep, with Leech following close behind.

“Shout if you see any ‘Crows,” Leech called back as he ran after the other man.

Kneeling, Flex cast a shadow over the body of what he now realised was a young boy of perhaps eleven or twelve. His curly, fair hair fell over his cheek, partially protecting it from the heat of the sun, but even without pushing it aside, he could see the boy had severe sunburn. It seemed likely he was dehydrated and suffering with both heat and sun stroke. He was amazed he was even alive. Scooping him up into his arms, Flex turned back to the jeep.

“What?” Leech’s eyes widened and he threw his arms out to the sides. “We’re picking up waifs and strays now?”
“You want to leave him to die?” Flex tipped his head and raised a questioning eyebrow.
“No,” the older man sighed and shook his head before turning to head back to the car. “Let’s see if D can fix him up.”
“If anyone can, it’ll be D,” Flex added in admiration of the older doctor’s skill.

Dr Death Defying watched as the two men returned to the jeep carrying what appeared to him to be a small boy, or possibly a girl, it was hard to tell from the distance he was away. In either case, the child looked as though serious care was needed. They had to return to camp as soon as possible.


The eight-year old dark-haired boy reached up to the door lock and inserted his key - an almost daily ritual. Turning the key, he pushed the door open and stepped inside. Small, even for his age, Frankie was often mistaken for about six, but he didn’t mind; his friends were older than him and they looked after him whenever he was with them. Closing the door behind him, he held his breath and listened. At first, there was only silence; that’s how he liked it, but it wasn’t long before his guardian’s voice bellowed through the apartment.

“Where have you been?”

The man’s slurring voice rang in Frankie’s ears, making him gasp and shudder with fright. Pressing himself back against the door, all he wanted to do was turn and run back out. He knew what was coming.

Into the hallway stepped Doug Lawson, a tall, broad-shouldered man with a protruding belly hanging over his belt, his shirt stretched to its limit trying to cover him. Practically bald with just a few tufts of hair in a semi-circle reaching around his head just above his ears and a cigarette hanging from his mouth, he leaned against the kitchen doorframe swaying slightly, obviously drunk and his usual belligerent self.

“I asked you a question, boy!” He yelled.
“I... I...” Frankie stammered, his face pale, body rigid, desperately trying to merge with the front door.
“What’s the matter? You gonna cry? Pass out? You’re a weak, useless little brat! I said ‘Where have you been?’”
“I... I was at Gerard’s.” He finally managed, although it emerged in barely more than a whisper.
“What did you say?” He yelled again, stumbling forward towards the young boy. “You’ve been hanging out with your fancy, famous, rich friends?”
“They’re not fancy, they’re...” Frankie began only to feel the sharp sting of the back of the man’s hand across his face.
“Don’t talk back to me, boy! If I say they’re fancy, they’re fancy! Got it?”

Frankie nodded silently, his neck and jaw muscles tightening as he tried to stop his eyes welling up with hot tears from pain, fear and humiliation. Frankie gasped as the man snatched his left wrist and began to drag him to the boy’s bedroom.

“Looks like I gotta teach you some respect again, boy. When are you gonna learn?”
“No!” Frankie cried, his eyes wide and wild as his heels dug into the carpet in an attempt to prevent the inevitable. “I’ll be good, I will, I promise.”

The man stopped dragging him and slammed him back against the wall, his head bouncing forward once more after hitting the plasterboard with a dull thud. Dazed and suddenly lightheaded, Frankie barely heard the man’s next words before he felt himself being dragged towards his room once more. Now unable to resist, Frankie went easily; it was better just to get it over with.

“Good?” He laughed, with a sharp, bitter edge to the sound. “You don’t know the meaning of the word!”

Inside the bedroom, Frankie was thrown towards his bed, managing at the last moment to stop himself from falling. Turning to face his guardian, Frankie trembled as he saw the man removing his belt.

“Frankie Lawson, take off your shirt.”
“My name’s not Lawson, you’re not my dad.”

The words were out before he realised he’d even thought them and his eyes widened like saucers at the furious reaction of the man before him. Whipping the belt out, the tip cracked against the boy’s right cheek, raising a large red welt immediately. Frankie’s hand shot up to cover his stinging cheek, only for him to realise that his face was wet. He hadn’t even realised he’d started crying.

“Shirt off! I’ll teach you not to talk back, you useless brat!”

Still trembling, Frankie pulled the shirt over his head, gasping as he saw from a smear on the shirt that the wetness on his cheek was in fact both blood and tears. Folding the belt, Lawson stepped forward and spun Frankie around and forced him to bend over the bed.

“Repeat after me, ‘My name is Frankie Lawson’.”
“My name is Frankie Iero,” the boy insisted in return.

His punishment for disobeying was a vicious strike across his back with the folded belt, pulling a scream from his lips before gritting his teeth and tensing for the next.

“Lawson, you little brat! I’m paid to look after you, you’ll use my name!”
“But you don’t, do you?” Frankie turned onto his side, staring up with wild eyes, surprising both of them with his new found courage. “You don’t look after me! All you do is beat me and starve me!”

This time it was a fist, smacking into Frankie’s left cheek, dislodging a tooth and causing the inside of his cheek to split and bleed. Slipping to the floor, tears now ran freely down his cheeks.

“You don’t deserve to be treated any better! You’re useless!” Lawson pointed at him with the belt. “Now, get up!”

After a moment’s pause, Lawson reached down, pulling the fearful boy up by his hair. Pushing him back across the bed, the man whipped the belt across his back. Screaming loudly, Frankie’s eyes widened in terror as something was stuffed into his mouth preventing him from making much more than muffled noises. As the belt came down once more, he realised that the belt was no longer folded and the buckle was ripping across the skin on his back. Shuddering with agony and tears, Frankie grimaced one more time as the belt buckle crashed heavily down on his back once more. After only three strikes, there were painful red welts, multiple bruises and scratched and torn skin with blood seeping from the wounds. Pulling the obstruction from Frankie’s mouth, Lawson stepped back to watch the boy slip to his knees on the floor, still leaning on the bed for support.

“What’s your name, boy?”

Frankie screwed up his eyes and whimpered. He wanted so much to give in and tell the man what he wanted to hear, just to get rid of him, but something in him refused. Turning, staring up whilst seated on the floor, he yelled back”

“Iero! My name is Frankie Iero!”

He saw the fist coming, possibly even felt it, but only briefly. Slumping to the floor, rolling partially under the bed, Frankie was unconscious before his head hit the carpet. Sliding his belt back into the loops on his pants, Lawson shook his head.

“You should be thankful I get paid to take you in or you’d be in the gutter, boy! I’m gonna teach you some manners if it kills you!”
Sign up to rate and review this story